• Everyone wants a healthy love life but not enough people are willing to put in the work required.
  • Building a healthy relationship takes time, effort and certain requirements.
  • Below are five things you need to help create and maintain a happy and healthy bond with your partner.

For many people, especially those that have experienced failed relationships in the past, a healthy relationship can seem like a fairytale. Something to be talked about, dreamt of but never actually experienced. 

The truth is that anyone can build and maintain a healthy relationship as long as you have the following:

Good income

With the harsh economic realities of present-day Nigeria, it makes sense to only be with someone with a good income. This doesn't make you materialistic, it makes a realistic person. You don't want to date someone who is earning less, unemployed or always broke. 

Money is important in every healthy relationship
Money is important in every healthy relationship
Fab Woman

You will end up resenting them and be left with an unhealthy relationship filled with bitterness and anger. Money matters in relationships whether we want it or not so choose someone in your income bracket to avoid stories that touch. Read all about financial expectations here.

ALSO READ: Financial habits that can hurt your relationship

Ability to say “I’m sorry”

Relationships are commonly associated with these magic words — “I love you.” But you also need three extra words — “I’m sorry” to have a healthy relationship. 

Finding someone who can apologize when they are at fault (and sometimes when they are not for the sake of peace) should count as the eight wonders of the world because it is a rare, wonderful trait that can make or break a relationship.

Don't forget this goes both ways. To find and keep this kind of magical creature, you should also have the ability to say “I'm sorry” whenever the need arises.

Communication

Finding the right words to express your feelings to your partner is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you are the type to bottle it all up. 

To communicate properly, avoid making assumptions, stop over-analyzing, and learn to express yourself in clear, concise words that leave no room for misinterpretation. Say exactly what you’re feeling respectful (avoid name-calling and hurling abusive words at each other).

Couple talking in bed
Couple talking in bed

Encourage your partner to be just as honest with you. The goal is to get to a point where you are comfortable sharing, not just the good, but the bad and ugly too.

To create a peaceful, happy, loving relationship, make sure you learn too, not just to respond but to understand what the person is telling you. Communication is a two-way street so make sure traffic is going in both directions, not just yours.

Learning to communicate properly takes the guesswork out of the relationship and makes it easier for two people from two different backgrounds to come together to build and maintain a wonderful union.

Respect 

Respect is a big thing in Nigeria but this writer is of the opinion that it is more of a cultural, show off thing than the actual thing. You need the real thing to sustain a healthy relationship. 

Studies show men want respect while women want to be loved and cared for in a relationship
Studies show men want respect while women want to be loved and cared for in a relationship

Respecting your partner shows in how you talk to them even when you are mad at them which no name-calling, talking negatively about the other to friends or family, or threatening to leave the relationship as soon as an issue comes up. You also have to respect your partner’s time, space, needs, beliefs, and opinions. 

Learn and understand each other’s love languages

Dr Gary Chapman is credited with creating the notion that men and women have their unique ways of receiving and showing love in his New York Times bestseller, “The 5 Love Languages.”

They are words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, acts of service, and physical touch. Done right, the love-languages theory should give you what you need to fill up your partner’s love tank.